How to Make Chicken Biryani in Dutch Oven

If you have biryani on the menu, you instantly get attention from people. Chicken biryani is an easier and more delicious version of the biryani realm.

The history of biryani dates back centuries, and its origin isn’t India or Pakistan! This dish has travelled from its Persian roots in Iran to our plates.

The "perfect" biryani and the "proper" approach to preparing it are topics of ongoing controversy.

Whether it be Sindhi biryani vs. Hyderabadi biryani or a biriyani with aloo (potatoes) vs. one without aloo… I could discuss this endlessly.

There are various renditions of cooking up this delicious meal. It all depends on which version becomes your vice.

Either you make it in a giant steel pot (we desi call it daigche), an instant pot, or a Dutch oven—excelling in the procedure is vital.

I recently tried it in a Dutch oven and it turned out so well, which makes me wonder why I never tried it in the first place.  

How to Make Chicken Biryani in Dutch Oven in Three Steps

This recipe can be divided into three simple steps for you to follow: 

  1. Preparing the Chicken Biryani masala/gravy
  2. Parboiling the rice
  3. Layering & Dum (steam-cooking) 

Let’s break it down step-by-step.

Pro Tip: Prep the rice and your ingredients for the chicken biryani to keep things easier and faster.  

  1. It is better to soak the rice before preparing the chicken biryani masala. Long-grain basmati rice is quintessential for chicken biryani.
  2. Wash the rice a few times until you stop seeing very cloudy water settling in the bowl. Then, soak the rice in cold water for 2-3 hours prior to boiling.
  3. Prepare all the vegetables. Cut, dice, and blend all that jazz.

Step 1 – Preparing the Chicken Biryani Masala/Gravy

  • Oil – ½ cup
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • two medium-sized onions, thinly sliced
  • Chicken, with bones – 1 kg or 2 lbs
  • Ginger garlic paste – 3-4 tbsp
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Black pepper, whole – ½ tbsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – ½ tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Plums (aloo bukharay) – ¾ cup
  • 5-6 tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • two medium-sized Bayleaf 
  • Yoghurt – ½ cup
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
  • 3 Potatoes, cut into quarters
  • Fresh mint, chopped – 1 cup 
  1. In a big pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the cumin seeds, black pepper (whole), and bay leaf. Sauté for 5-10 seconds, then add the sliced onions.
  3. Sauté until the onions are golden/brown.
  4. Add the chicken, mix everything, and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Shortly after, add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Now, add all the spices and salt. Mix well.
  6. Toss in the plums and tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes soften (approximately 8-10 minutes)
  7. Add the chopped potatoes and cover the pan until the potatoes are cooked. (10-15 minutes)
  8. Now, mix in the yoghurt and combine everything.
  9. Add lemon juice. Cook everything on high heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.  

Note: Opt for store-bought chicken biryani masala boxes if you want to skip adding whole spices and garam masalas. You can easily find them in any local store.

Step 2 – Parboiling the Rice

Things you need: 

  • 1 kg long-grain basmati rice
  • Ghee/Oil – 3-4 tbsp
  • Salt – 1 ½ tbsp
  • Vinegar – 1 tsp
  • Black pepper (whole) – ½ tsp
  • Cloves (whole) – 5-6
  • Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  1. Add 6-7 cups of water in a large pot. Add oil, salt, and whole spices. Bring everything to a boil on high heat.
  2. Lower the heat to medium. Add the rice and let it parboil for 10-15 minutes.
  3. The rice should be 60% cooked through. Think El Dente!
  4. Drain the rice and set aside.

Step 3 – Layering & Dum (Steam-Cooking)

  • two medium-sized tomatoes, sliced
  • Kewra Water
  • two sliced lemons
  • Fresh chopped coriander and mint
  1. Brush the bottom of the Dutch Oven with some oil and layer with sliced tomatoes.
  2. Top it with ½ of the prepared biryani masala, followed by ½ of the parboiled rice.
  3. Repeat (layer masala, and then rice).
  4. Garnish with some brown onion and drizzle 1 tbsp of Kewra water. (Food colour is optional, but I insist!)
  5. Top with the lemon slices and garnish with cilantro and mint leaves.
  6. Place a kitchen towel or aluminium foil on the lid, then securely seal it. After setting the heat to medium, give the biryani 4-5 minutes to begin producing steam. The dum-cooking process has started.
  7. You will sense the steam coming from the sides. On the cue, reduce the heat to the lowest. Give it 20 minutes to cook in its steam, or "dum."
  8. Turn off the heat. Let the biryani rest for ten more minutes.
  9. Once ready, mix the biryani every so slightly. Then serve on a small plate or platter with a rice paddle. Serve hot and fresh with fresh garden salad, yoghurt or mint raita. 

Wrapping It Up

Consider this a weekend project because the entire process takes about an hour. But once you get a hold of it, you'll see how simple and quick it is to make biryani at home!

Nothing gets everybody in the house more excited than a delicious meal of biryani, with raita, salad, and chilled soda. 

Let us know how it turned up!


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